How Greitens Protected Privacy in Missouri

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Angry texts.

I got a bunch of very angry texts this morning.

My friends are fired up. Because of Governor Greitens’s executive order. An executive order that implements a novel approach to prescription drug databases. 

In case you haven’t heard, Governor Greitens signed an executive order on July 17. The EO made Missouri the 50th state to establish some sort of prescription drug tracking.

Most states track everything about prescriptions. And hyperactive federal judges have already opened those state databases to the unmasking eyes of the Deep State. So what makes Greitens’s plan unique and amazing?

First, let’s look at the threat to privacy posed by most states’ plans. A threat the Missouri legislature almost brought to Missouri.

From Business Insider:

Federal courts in Utah and Oregon recently ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration, in its effort to investigate suspected drug abusers or pill mills, can access information in those states’ PDMPs without a warrant, even over the states’ objections.

That means the federal government can look in your medicine cabinet. Anytime. Without a warrant. Unless you live in Missouri.

The bills that failed in the Missouri legislature (narrowly) looked like laws in those other states. The legislature would have tracked patients and prescribers and dispensers. But the legislature failed. So Greitens acted.

Greitens’s EO is different. Very different. So different, Democrat Claire McCaskill is screaming for more intrusion. Like they have in other states.

Here’s what makes the Greitens EO more palatable to conservatives. Via

While most monitoring programs track when patients are prescribed an opioid painkiller, Greitens’ plan would focus the data collection effort by the Department of Health and Senior Services on those who prescribe and distribute addictive drugs like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet.

That’s a huge distinction. If you’re worried about privacy and federal intrusion.

Most states track patients. Missouri tracks the source, not the consumer. That’s a huge protection for privacy.

You might not like Greitens’s use of an executive order. You might not like any monitoring at all. You might like unfettered access to opioids. Many people do.

But it seems like Governor Greitens pulled off a small miracle. He protected our privacy and took a step toward slowing the opioid nightmare in Missouri.

We don’t know yet if the monitoring program will be effective. We do know that big pharma’s opioid pushing program kills people. And the legislature’s plan would have been far worse for privacy. Greitens’s is better.

The legislation that failed allowed the state to track patient information. It required the data be purged after 180 days. But a federal judge could easily order the data preserved beyond that. Like those judges in Utah and Oregon.

Greitens’s action also won praise from others with conservatives. HHS Secretary Tom Price and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley both praised Greitens’s action. Hawley is a Federalist Society guy who takes privacy and liberty very seriously. But, as AG, he also takes lives seriously.

It’s easy to understand why liberty activists would object to any increased government. But people will calm down and even admire Greitens’s action when they learn how carefully he protects their privacy. While going after the opioid pushers.


We Can Make Missouri More Like Illinois

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Admit it, Missouri. You have Illini Envy. 

We all grew up in the shadow of the Lincoln State.

We grew up frustrated that the Black Hawks have won Stanley Cups while the Blues end every season in frustration.

Everybody in the world knows where Chicago is. And that it’s in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln. Missouri’s a little hit-or-miss on geography quizzes.

But Missourians have a chance to make St. Louis look a lot more like Chicago. Make Missouri look a lot like Illinois.

What Missouri needs is our own Missouri mega-city. Like Chicago. Like Los Angeles. Like New York. Like Miami.

Of those cities, those examples of mega-cities that can dominate their state’s legislation, Chicago is the best example.

I bet if you talked to people in Illinois who live outside of Cook County you’ll find one thing in common.

Sure, they’ll complain about the state’s 32% income tax hike and its crumbling finances. They’ll worry about the massive corruption in the state capital. They’ll gripe about all the crime and bounced checks from the state. But they’ll rally around one point.

Everyone in rural Illinois loves Chicago! Proud as little country peacocks!

Illinoisans love sharing their resources with one of the biggest, most famous cities in America. They love the fact that Cook County makes all the decisions for everyone throughout the state. Chicago even decides for people in lowly Cairo! Because Cook County makes all the decisions, people in outstate Illinois are free to focus on their own problems. Like how to pave their roads without any money, or how to keep businesses from leaving the state in droves.

You want all that for Missouri, don’t you? To be just like Illinois?

Well, you can. Soon.

The St. Louis city fathers have a plan to merge St. Louis City and St. Louis County into one gigantic political unit that can dominate Missouri legislature and culture.

Right now, they’re using the phrase “better together.” And they’re right! If St. Louis City and County merge, the St. Louis region can pretty much ignore the rest of the state. (More than we do now.) We’ll have the population and economic power to finally tell KC to get lost. Jackson County might as well secede and join Kansas.

Sure, Springfield, Columbia, and Kansas City will lose a lot of power and influence. But at least people in those cities won’t have to worry so much about what St. Louis is up to. They won’t have to worry about St. Louis because they won’t be able to stop us.

I’ll bet that within four years of the City-County Merger, every Missouri Supreme Court judge will come from the St. Louis region. Plus, St. Louis will be able to pull tax dollars out of the rest of the state. We can build new ballparks and arenas. Green bike trails everywhere. And we’ll be able to pay off St. Louis’s massive unfunded debt liabilities using dollars from rural areas.

Plus, St. Louis Democrats will FINALLY be able to pass some Chicago-style gun-control legislation for the state.

The point is, I think people who oppose the City-County merger are missing the valuable lesson Illinois teaches: we can make St. Louis into the new Chicago. We can make St. Louis County into the new Cook County. And we can make Missouri into the new Illinois. 

When the City-County merger hits the ballot, I hope our outstate Missouri neighbors will do what’s right for the St. Louis region. Making St. Louis more like Chicago is way more important than little towns in Dent County having some influence in Jefferson City. 

It’s time for outstate Missouri to stop thinking about themselves. Time to think about what’s good for St. Louis.

St. Louis First!

How to Win Consistently

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If your favorite player hits a home run or scores a goal, but your favorite team loses, what have you accomplished?

If an athlete you despise makes a horrible error but the hated team he plays for wins the championship, how do you feel?

In several races across Missouri, some people seem willing to lose the war if it means they can win their private battles. That’s pretty sad, isn’t it?

In the race for governor and the race for US Senate, I hear people working against their own interests for extremely selfish reasons. But the only way to show you’re a consistent person is to elect Trump, Blunt, and Greitens on Tuesday.

US Senate

Suppose Donald Trump wins but Roy Blunt loses. And a few other Republican Senate candidates lose. It’s possible that President Trump could face a Senate controlled by Democrats. In that case, you won’t get a single piece of legislation you want. You’ll get only what Mitch McConnell compromises with Chuck Schumer. Have fun with that.

Plus, Jason Kander is a far left progressive. He’s opposed to the 2nd Amendment because he will get to keep his assault rifles and side arms. That’s how elitism works, and Kander’s all for different rules for different castes. And Kander loves the lobbyists as much as the lobbyists love Kander. It’s a regular affair with those two.

If Hillary wins, don’t you want every possible Republican Senator to form a firewall?

If you want Trump and Trump’s policies, you have to give Trump a Senate that will enact those policies. Kander won’t do that. Roy Blunt will. So vote for Blunt on Tuesday.

Missouri Governor

Suppose Chris Koster wins. You won’t ever see Right to Work in Missouri. All the good bills that Nixon vetoed, Koster will veto. All the favoritism Nixon showed, Koster will show. Missouri’s embarrassing fall to the bottom of the economic barrel will continue. That fall might even accelerate. Who knows.

In Chris Koster’s Missouri, failing schools and falling bridges will remain the norm. Fortune 1000 companies will continue to flee our state. And rioters will be allowed to control your streets. If Chris Koster was afraid to do something about Ferguson as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, imagine how cowardly he’d act as governor.

Or you can show consistency by voting for Eric Greitens. Greitens started off as a Democrat, but he realized his philosophy was out of sync with that party’s beliefs. So he embraced the GOP and some of the most conservative GOP leaders embrace Greitens.

As governor, Eric Greitens will sign Right to Work. He will lead his party to make Missouri great again by getting us out of the bottom quintile of economic despair. Greitens will confront riots with all the determination and courage you’d expect from a Navy SEAL war veteran. And he’ll elevate our political discourse like no one else.


Most people want to be seen as consistent. We want people to think we’ll do the right thing even if it hurts. Maybe it hurts you to vote for Blunt or Greitens, but deep down you probably know voting for Blunt and Greitens is the right thing.

Trump will win Missouri by 15 percentage points if you vote. If Missouri voters do the right thing, Blunt and Greitens will win by 15 points, too. If they don’t, it’s because many Missouri conservatives would rather lose the war for America than lose a skirmish for their pride. And that would be so sad.

The Strangest Governor Race Ever

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You might be wondering why the Missouri Farm Bureau endorsed Democrat Chris Koster instead of Republican Eric Greitens. The Farm Bureau endorses Republicans about 99% of the time.

If you’re thinking it had to do with policy or personality, you’re thinking wrong. (And, no, it wasn’t because of Koster’s hair, Mark Reardon.) This was all about the establishment vs. the people. It’s about power and control. Greitens threatens the establishment.

Since “the establishment” is vague, I’ll give it a name. In fact, I’ll give it two names. In Missouri, the establishment is Ann Wagner and Roy Blunt. (But mostly Wagner.) And Rex Sinquefield is their financier.

To understand this, let’s look at how Wagner played the Republican gubernatorial race. Remember, Ann is running for Claire McCaskill’s senate seat in 2018.

Think about this:

  • If you’re Ann Wagner and you want a senate seat, wouldn’t you push your friend Catherine Hanaway to run for governor? Win or lose, Catherine’s 2016 run for governor would take her out of the race for U.S. Senate in 2018, would it not? That takes away Wagner’s most formidable rival for money and votes.
  • When Tom Schweich died, why wouldn’t Ann encourage John Brunner to run for governor? John hinted to me that Ann encouraged him to run when we met for coffee in April 2015. (I didn’t secretly tape that conversation, but maybe he did. Ask him.) His wife told people, too, at a Lincoln-Reagan dinner in 2015. People recall that she seemed upset about it at the time. I’m sure Ann had heard that Brunner was thinking about running for Claire’s seat. Plus, John could finance his own campaign for governor. The establishment wanted Brunner to spend his own money to kneecap Eric Greitens. That didn’t work, but, as you know, the establishment sabotaged Brunner in the final weeks of the primary. John has now lost two statewide races in a row, blowing upwards of $30 million of his own money in the process. No wonder Mrs. Brunner was upset.
  • Wagner and Blunt can’t control Greitens making him a threat to the establishment. When Greitens won (by 10 points no less), Ann and Roy went to work for Koster. Publicly, they’ll say they support their party’s nominee for governor. Don’t trust what they say. Believe what you see their friends do. In the shadows, Wagner and Blunt will undercut Greitens and support the Democrat. They’ll tell traditionally Republican organizations and businesses like the Farm Bureau to endorse Koster. That’s just the way the establishment works. As Brunner’s consultant, David Barklage, told me at lunch in 2014, “We can work with Koster.” They’re working with Koster.

Not convinced? Establishment bonds trump party loyalty. Koster used to be a Republican, so it’s not hard for Republicans like Wagner and Blunt to work with him. I have reports that some Missouri business executives are encouraging their employees who supported Greitens in the primary to support Koster because he’ll be good for their businesses. It’s a subtle threat, and it could be illegal. But it’s happening. I’m hearing stories every day. If you work for a company whose senior executives donate to Wagner and Blunt expect some gentle nudges to support Koster.

Look, Eric Greitens is a major threat to the establishment. He has no allegiance to the ownership class. He has no allegiance to the Republican hierarchy. Greitens’ allegiance is to a purpose, and his purpose aligns very well with ordinary people. Firefighters, cops, and teachers love him, so do veterans and their families. And I see huge numbers of young people working for Eric when I go his office in Crestwood. So many young people. The establishment despises these ordinary people.

The Missouri Farm Bureau endorses whoever their highest paid politicians tell them to endorse. You can surmise that the MFB endorsed a Democrat because Ann Wagner and Roy Blunt told them too. They’ll get a pat on the head and some federal money. Expect more organizations with ties to Wagner and Blunt to endorse Koster. It’s just the establishment trying to save its power and control. And it says more about Wagner and Blunt’s power and control than about Greitens’ amazing qualifications.

So don’t sweat it, Greitens fans. Just add the Missouri Farm Bureau to your list of corrupt organizations. And remember: Rex Sinquefield’s donation is pretty much the kiss of death in Missouri elections. (Rex’s $11 million went 0 for 4 Tuesday. I was 5 for 5 and cost me almost nothing.) He’s a smart guy and a DuBourg grad, but Rex Sinquefield couldn’t pick a winner in the hall of fame. We have the numbers.

2016 is the people’s year. Seize it.


Greitens’s Win Was Just a Moment in Time. But a Big Moment

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Navy SEAL Eric Greitens won the first political race of his life. Few first timers win a major party’s nomination for governor of a state. You’ll probably hear just how rare Greitens’s feat was. But not tonight. I want to tell some stories.

Eric Greitens gave up a morning of this campaign to talk to one of my kids. That kid is a man now. He’s in the Navy at a helo combat squadron in San Diego. Sure, his mom and dad and step mom and brother influenced him. But none of us could push him over the top. Eric Greitens did.

My stepson went through a horrible car accident last year. Eric heard about it. Eric again left his campaign to make sure my stepson was comfortable. And my stepson couldn’t do much for Eric. But Eric didn’t care about that. He didn’t expect a return.

A lot of my friendships were strained or broken during this campaign. Good friendships. Every time I took a stand for Eric, he had my back.

Tonight’s remarkable win against a field of candidates with a combined . . . I don’t know, 3,000 years in politics, was amazing. It’s the kind of win you read about, as Panger would say. It was a sweet moment in time, but only a moment,

Most politicians would complain about my writing that. “Just a moment in time, Bill? Come on!” But not Eric. I know this was just a moment in time—a fire to pass through—because Eric Greitens taught me so. I learned that philosophy from him.

We don’t bounce back from wins or loses, we move through them. We emerge different. And our measure is what we do with our different selves.

Eric Greitens and so many remarkable staffers and volunteers walked through a fire and came out the other side. They’re all changed. Forged. Harder. More resilient. And they’re moving on.

This is a moment in time, but you should take a moment to savor it.

When I knocked doors for Eric, I heard one recurring theme. “I won’t vote for anyone who’s held public office before.”

Some will say Greitens won because people are fed up with the status quo. That’s possible. But I’ve been in this political game a little while. I’ve heard “throw the bums out” many times, but the bums never get thrown out.

Until now.

I have an idea about why now. People are willing to cast aside the old establishment because they finally see a leader who can fix the things the establishment broke.

Put another way, the devil you know beats the devil you don’t until an angel comes along.

For the people without a voice, Eric Greitens is our angel.

It’s a moment in time, but it’s one hell of a moment.

Thank you, Eric, for leading so many  of us through that fire. And for walking straight at the next inferno. There’s no one I’d rather follow.

It’s time to move through Koster.


 Photos by Dortie B

Why I’m Voting for Eric Greitens

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This was supposed to be a longer post, so I’ll tell you why I’m voting for Eric Greitens in a minute. First, why I have to cut it short.

I got home from door knocking for Eric at about 6:30 and walked straight to my laptop to write. Just as I sat down, my wife called me to dinner. She’d already eaten, but she heated up my dinner, called to me, then walked into our living room and shrieked.

I figured a snake or a lizard had slithered into the living room and was eating the cat. (Or the cat was eating the reptile. Whatever.) But it was worse.

A water spot on the ceiling. Directly below the business end of the bathtub.

Great. I got out my tools and cut a hole in the ceiling. (You probably know that feeling. Like a surgeon breaching a patient’s skin.) I’ll spare you the details. But it seems the plumber’s putty around the drain had pretty much broken up and washed down the pipes.

So the two hours I spent playing plumber had to come off the time allowed for writing this post. And, yet, I don’t think you’ll mind. Here’s why.

I’m voting for Eric Greitens because he would rather see me fix my leaky pipe than knock doors for him or write this blog post. Eric follows the stoic philosophical tradition of living the good life. Not a life of opulence and luxury, but the life of doing what needs to be done given the circumstances fate tosses our way. Rich or poor, writer or plumber, no condition is good or bad. It’s what we do with the days and talents God gave us.

I am a lousy plumber, but my family needed me to play one tonight. And Eric would appreciate it if he knew.

I want a governor who’s dedicated to a society that lets everyone live the good life they choose, with the chance for the dignity of meaningful work in a job that gives them satisfaction by serving themselves and their families and their community. And a government that leaves people alone while protecting them from harm and aggression.

I believe in those things, too. So I’m voting for Eric Greitens for governor. Please join me.